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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 May 10 - 16  > Municipal assembly chairs in Okinawa jointly protest parachuting drills by US military
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2017 May 10 - 16 [US FORCES]

Municipal assembly chairs in Okinawa jointly protest parachuting drills by US military

May 11, 2017
The association of chairpersons of six municipal assemblies in central Okinawa on May 10 adopted a resolution demanding an immediate stop to the U.S. military’s parachuting exercises and sent the resolution to the U.S. Forces in Okinawa as well as to the Japanese and U.S. governments.

The resolution condemns the U.S. military for carrying out such dangerous drills in defiance of repeated requests made by local municipalities. It states, “This is outrageous behavior that further increases Okinawans’ burdens associated with the presence of U.S. bases.”

From March to April, large U.S. transport helicopters flew over private land in Yomitan Village with military vehicles hanging from them. In late April, “special operations” aircraft stationed at the U.S. Kadena Air Base which extends over three municipalities in Okinawa conducted parachuting exercises. The U.S. military authorities explained that the purpose of the drills is to maintain servicepersons’ parachuting skills and the ability to parachute equipment onto landing zone.

In the background of Okinawans’ stiff opposition to this kind of military exercise is an incident in 1965 in which a 10-year-old girl living in Yomitan Village was crushed to death under a trailer which was parachuted from a U.S. military aircraft.

Kadena Town Assembly Chair Tokuzato Naoki said, “U.S. warplanes often circle above residential areas. Local residents are concerned that flight training exercises may become the norm.” Yomitan Village Assembly Chair Iha Atsushi stated, “In solidarity with villagers, we’ll continue to raise our voices in protest.”

Past related article:
> Okinawa JCP protests against tire drop incident by US helicopter [March 10 & 14, 2017]
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